Statement from Dr. Suzanne Strasberg, President of the Ontario Medical
Association

Doctors Ready to Give Vaccine

TORONTO, Oct. 29 /CNW/ - Patient concern has grown across the province about the pending wave of the H1N1 virus in Ontario. As expected, community doctors' offices have been inundated with calls from patients wishing to get themselves and their families vaccinated in order to protect themselves.

Over the last few days there have been suggestions in the media and some in public health that Ontario doctors are not interested in participating in the H1N1 vaccination program. I want to assure the public that Ontario doctors are ready, willing and wanting to provide the vaccine to patients. The problem is that many doctors can't get the vaccine to give to our patients yet.

Unfortunately, it appears that some local health units have made the decision to limit the distribution of the vaccine to mass vaccination centres, rather than the traditional community physician office for the time being. We understand that this decision has been made due to a limited supply of the vaccine. Some doctors who have ordered the vaccine have been told that they won't be receiving it right away. To date, we have not received confirmation as to when these current supply issues will allow for wide distribution of the vaccine to community physicians.

We need manufacturers and government officials to expedite the distribution of the vaccine as quickly as possible.

Doctors are frustrated by the mixed information they have been receiving. We're also frustrated by our inability to provide for the patients who have been asking to get vaccinated. However, all of us are committed to working together with our health care partners to provide whatever care we can in this challenging time for Ontario families.

Ontario's doctors understand the concerns of parents given recent unfortunate events. We encourage families to try to be patient over the next few weeks. There is no doubt that government officials, public health units, doctors and all health care providers are all working towards the same goal - providing the best care possible to our patients - despite some of these challenges.

Suzanne Strasberg, MD

President, Ontario Medical Association

Dr. Strasberg is also a family doctor who practices at a clinic in Toronto's Jane and Finch corridor.

SOURCE Ontario Medical Association

For further information: For further information: OMA Media Relations at (416) 340-2862 or toll-free at 1-800-268-7215 ext. 2862 - per Lorraine Forster


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